This old sales adage has stood the test of time and still stands true when it comes to building relationships with your customers.
But why is that? Scientifically and socially it has been proven that when you have a strong relationship or connection with someone, you tend to have more influence on them. Same goes with your sales qualified customer. If they respect and value your experience and advice, they are more likely to seek your advice with making the buying decision.
One of the quickest and most effective methods for building sales relationships is building rapport.
What is Rapport Building in Sales?
Rapport is the foundation of a relationship based on harmony or affinity. Rapport enables smooth communication because it allows people to be at ease. People tend to be more biased towards people they know, like or trust when it comes to doing business.
Though rapport building in sales seems intuitive, it’s a challenging skill to master because of its personal implications. It is easy for a sales person to easily miss opportunities to create rapport with a customer when they take the situation or the person for granted, don’t want to connect and keep on driving their own agenda.
How to Build Rapport in Sales
When you build a solid, lasting relationship with buyers, they are not only more likely to make an initial purchase for the company they represent, but they are also more likely to become the “long term clients”.
1. Listen first
Active listening is a fundamental sales communication skill. When a customer perceives that you are actively listening to them they feel important, understood, appreciated, and respected.
The best way to show interest in what your customer is saying is by asking questions – ask first, listen closely and respond appropriately.
This will show the customer that your focus isn’t just “pitching” your product but to genuinely understand them, their issue and providing the, with the applicable solution.
2. Learn About Your Customer
Another powerful of building rapport in sales is to learn about your customer. Finding common experiences with the customer and then bringing those up during the conversation will help you establish a connection with them faster. It is important to find a common ground as if you don’t mirror and match your customer, the customer won’t feel that your rapport building is natural or sincere.
Digital platforms especially social media have now made it easy to uncover common experiences with your customer even before meeting them.
3. Mirror and Match your Customer
Now that you have listened and learned about your customer, it is time to layer your verbal efforts with authentic actions by mirroring and matching them.
Start by mimicking their body language. If they are sitting cross legged across you, you should try and sit cross legged as well as this will make you appear more familiar and alike. Also, match your customers voice patterns during the conversation. Keeping up with their speed and volume will help you sound like them and will aid you establish an instant connection.
The Bottom Line
Building a strong relationship with a customer is foundational to successful selling, and a great relationship begins with developing rapport. If you want to develop you skills and learn more about the art of selling through conversation, try LocalMasters’ Sales Pro Professional Training.